The winter can be a depressing time for anyone, especially after the rush of the festive season has past. It’s no wonder, then, that so many people look for a getaway break at this time of the year. If you’re planning to take a vacation to brighten up those winter months, the big question is where you should visit?
Here are some great ideas that will suit all kinds of travelers.
If you’re looking for a fantastic winter experience, look no further than Edinburgh. The Scottish capital is bursting with fun attractions, history and heritage and is a wonderful destination all year round. You can take a ghost walk to see a different side of the city, find out about its fascinating past in the famous 12th century Edinburgh Castle or sip a dram of whisky (or two) in any one of the friendly local pubs. The city also has strong links with the Harry Potter series of books and movies, so you can indulge your creative side. While there’s plenty of world-class restaurants to choose from, you’ll definitely want to taste some of the local specialities like haggis with neeps and tatties and Cullen skink. There are plenty of lovely hotels in the city to choose from, so you’re sure to find something to fit in your budget.
Santa Barbara, California
Do you prefer a sunny escape during the winter months? If so, head to the American Riviera – famous for its lush landscapes, beautiful coastline and warm weather. You can sunbathe on the golden sands and then try a little surfing if you can expend the energy. You can also take a wine trail to discover some of the local fine wines – a perfect excuse to try this sunny vacation spot.
St Bart’s , French West Indies
If you’re keen to try a Caribbean island this winter, why not try St Bart’s? With its fascinating French heritage, this island is actually an EU member and was originally discovered back in 1493 by Christopher Columbus. Over the years, it has had numerous and diverse inhabitants from pirates and Arawaks to colonists and Swedish settlers. Culture enthusiasts will love the 17th century forts here while those who prefer sunbathing will appreciate the fourteen public beaches. If you’re a snorkelling enthusiast, you’ll also love exploring the reefs just off the coastline of this beautiful island. Make sure to take your best snorkel mask as there’s some seriously good visibility in the crystal clear waters.
If you’d like even more winter bang for your buck, why not consider a Scandinavian escape? Tromso is a coastal city in Norway which is a couple of hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle. Yes, it’s pretty chilly but on the upside, the chances of experiencing the Northern Lights here is good. Head to Floya by cable car and admire the panoramic views of the fjords and mountains or discover the Plantarium in the Science Center where you can see the Northern Lights if you can’t actually spot them in person. There’s no shortage of bars and restaurants here as well as stores selling local arts and crafts. You’ll also love the Olhallen beer hall which dates back to the 1920s. As the oldest pub in the city, it has its own micro brewery where you can taste delicious beers. Enjoy some true winter sports here from reindeer sledding and dog sledding to cross country skiing, or go whale watching and see if you can see a killer whale in its native environment.
Head to a vacation spot where you can feel as if you’ve seen the world while staying closer to home. Orlando is the perfect place for a break at any time of year and it will be warm and toasty even in the winter months. Head to Disney’s EPCOT park to see the World Showcase and to sample foods from around the world, not to mention seeing the Mouse himself, or enjoy some of the more natural attractions like alligators and air boat rides. There’s so much to see and do that you’ll feel warm and refreshed, ready to return home to enjoy the rest of your winter.